Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
31 Aug 2009
 | 31 Aug 2009

A flow-tube based laser-induced fluorescence instrument to measure OH reactivity in the troposphere

T. Ingham, A. Goddard, L. K. Whalley, K. L. Furneaux, P. M. Edwards, C. P. Seal, D. E. Self, G. P. Johnson, K. A. Read, J. D. Lee, and D. E. Heard

Abstract. A field instrument utilising the artificial generation of OH radicals in a sliding injector flow-tube reactor with detection by laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy has been developed to measure the rate of decay of OH by reaction with its atmospheric sinks. The OH reactivity instrument has been calibrated using known concentrations of CO, NO2 and single hydrocarbons in a flow of zero air, and the impact of recycling of OH via the reaction HO2+NO→OH+NO2 on the measured OH reactivity has been quantified. As well as a detailed description of the apparatus, the capabilities of the new instrument are illustrated using representative results from deployment in the semi-polluted marine boundary layer at the Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory, UK, and in a tropical rainforest at the Bukit Atur Global Atmospheric Watch station, Danum Valley, Borneo.